Catch of the day? Acme Smoked Fish reels in Pompano Beach cold storage for $16M

Company started by Harry Brownstein in Brooklyn needed more processing space

Robert Caslow, chairman, Acme Smoked Fish Group, in front of 1280 Southwest 29th Avenue in Pompano Beach (Google Maps, iStock, Acme Smoked Fish Group)
Robert Caslow, chairman, Acme Smoked Fish Group, in front of 1280 Southwest 29th Avenue in Pompano Beach (Google Maps, iStock, Acme Smoked Fish Group)

Acme, the smoked fish company that traces its origin to the early 20th century, bought a cold storage and food processing facility in Pompano Beach for $15.8 million.

Acme Smoked Fish reeled in the 43,000-square-foot building at 1280 Southwest 29th Avenue from Benson Properties, according to a news release from Berger Commercial Realty/Corfac International.

Jordan Beck and Joseph Byrnes of Berger Commercial Realty represented Benson. The sale breaks down to roughly $366 per square foot.

The one-story, off-white building was constructed in 1984 on 2.5 acres. It is a specialized facility with coolers, freezers, insulated dock doors, processing rooms and floor drains throughout, according to the release.

Benson, led by John Murphy, bought the property in 2014 for $3 million, property records show.

Beck and Byrnes had been looking for a buyer since 2020, although they did not officially list the property on the market, the release says. Acme, which is growing, needed more food processing space.

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Acme’s roots date back to 1906 when Harry Brownstein, a recent immigrant from Russia, started distributing smoked fish to stores in Brooklyn, according to the company’s website. Brownstein incorporated Acme – named not only for its literal meaning but also to be listed first in the phone book – in 1954, when he and his sons, Joe and Morty Brownstein, opened their own plant.

Since then, Acme has grown to acquire Great American Smoked Fish in 2007 and open a listeria-free raw material factory in Chile and a ​​100,000-square-foot processing plant in North Carolina.

The company still is a family venture. Fourth generation owner-operators Adam and David Caslow are co-CEOs, according to the website. Their grandfather, the late Rubin Caslow, started out as a smoked fish jobber and married Brownstein’s daughter Charlotte Brownstein, who was a bookkeeper at the company, in 1941. Rubin Caslow’s sons – the late Eric Caslow and Robert Caslow, listed as Acme chair – led the company for more than 40 years. (David is Eric Caslow’s son and Adam is Robert Caslow’s son.)

The deal speaks to the hot South Florida industrial market, which was the only property type to prosper during 2020, when consumers largely turned to e-commerce.

It continued the momentum this year when leasing soared and rents increased, according to Colliers. In the third quarter, Broward County’s average asking rent for warehouses was $9.68 a square foot, up from $9.19 a square foot during the same period in 2020; and for manufacturing space, $11.18 a square foot, up from $8.58.

Pompano Beach has benefited from the investor appetite that the strong market has generated. CenterPoint Properties bought a last-mile distribution facility in the city for $10 million in October.

Cold storage facilities also have been popular. In May, Seagis Property Group bought a Medley warehouse with cold storage space for $7.9 million.